There are pros and cons to all methods of learning a language. And when it comes down to it, many people prefer group classes to exclusive self-study or private lessons. But why?
1) Meet other language learnersClasses give you a teacher, but they provide you with an instant group of other people with the same interest as you. You can speak in your target language together, go out for dinner and order in Japanese, and message each other asking "what was last week's homework again?"
(Just kidding - thanks to the course outline I'll provide you with, you'll always know what this week's homework is.)
In a group class, students can support and help each other. It's obvious to me that my lovely students gain a lot from each others' support!
2) Keep a regular scheduleTo gain any skill, you need to practice regularly. The great thing about having class on a regular day is it forces you to practice. Unlike exclusive self-study where you'll always have an excuse to procrastinate, weekly classes require you to be prepared for every class so you can get the most out of it.
Practice makes perfect, after all.
3) It's your classYou might feel like the only way to get a class tailored to your needs is to take private lessons. But a good group class - especially one for a small group of students - should be tailored to the students in it as much as a private lesson would be.
That's why I ask my students to give me regular feedback (informally, and through snazzy questionnaires) about how class is going and where you want it to go next. It's your class, and we'll focus on what you want to focus on.
That doesn't mean I'm going to do the hard work for you. If you want to get good at Japanese, you'll need to find ways of practicing and exposing yourself to the language as much as possible outside of class too. But a group class can provide the basis of your knowledge, a structure to work with, and (I hope) a friendly face to answer your questions.
It also gives you a great excuse to go to that great noodle place again...you are learning Japanese after all.
Enrolment is open for 10-week and 30-week courses in Japanese for Beginners (and Not-So-Beginners), starting September 2016. Click here to find out more!